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by Jon

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47

If you just want bokeh for bokeh's sake then you can achieve this with pretty much any lens and any type of camera, even a tiny sensor compact, by focusing extremely close. Depth of field diminishes very quickly with focus distance, so much so that it becomes a major problem with macro photography getting a non blurred background (or subject!) However this ...


47

All text in brown <- like this, is linked to images - whether or not thumbnails are provided. Thumbnails are not live linked. All these things can be done with your kit lens: Learn to minimise depth of field in a given situation (max aperture, max zoom, foot zoom to fit) to see how much background defocusing you can achieve. Not an ideal lens for ...


23

There are several: optical quality build quality Autofocus Speed manual focus ability is minimal (not USM, very narrow ring) rotating filter mount (bad for polarizer use) The key factor for me though, is the maximum aperture. Usually a kit lens is f/3.5-5.6, while a good zoom is f/2.8. That difference is huge when working in low light.


21

The answer is, unfortunately, depends. First, what kit are we talking about? The 5D Mark II kit comes with the 24-105mm f4 IS L lens. The lens is roughly $1000 new, so selling it immediately, gives you discount on the body itself, so it absolutely makes sense to get the kit (unless you don't want to hassle with selling the lens). I bought the 5d2 kit, even ...


20

There are so many variables here, it would be impossible to give you a precise answer. It depends entirely what you are wanting to do... The kit lens can, in many cases, give a satisfactory photograph, however there are two main areas in which the kit lens suffers in competition against a pro lens: Aperture. Kit lenses are slow. They are usually about ...


20

Technique is typically at fault with "fuzzy" images 99% of the time with someone new to dSLRs with only an 18-55 kit lens. The lens is not the problem. 18-55s are limited, and they are cheap, and there are much nicer lenses around, but how you use one is more likely to be the fault than what glass is in the lens. People will often blame the lens because ...


18

The only time I would argue for not buying a kit is when you already own other lenses that cover the same focal range. If you are purchasing your first DSLR you should go ahead and get the kit. Even though the kit lenses have a bad reputation, it's been said that "99% of lenses are better than 99% of photographers", and the kit lens is going to be a great ...


18

At 50mm on your 18-55, the max aperture is f/5.6. On the 50mm f/1.8, the max aperture is - obviously - f/1.8. It is perhaps not immediately obvious, but f/1.8 lets in 10-12 times more light than f/5.6. That is the difference between shooting at 1/10 second shutter speed (which is absolutely a no-go for moving subjects) and shooting at 1/100 (which is a ...


18

How can I make it work wonders ? By lighting your images properly. This doesn't mean you have to buy loads of studio lighting gear, when you know how light works you can apply this to natural lighting just as effectively as artificial. Proper lighting will reduce the dynamic range of your scene by brightening shadows, and will create contrast by ...


17

Yes. Prime lenses usually offer both superior image quality and larger apertures compared to zoom lenses of similar price. This is due to simpler mechanical construction, as less moving parts are needed, and due to especially chromatic aberration being easier to correct for just one focal length. The decision between 35mm and 55-200mm is in the end about ...


15

I'm reading your question is basically "what do they do in a more expensive lens to make it better?" There are a number of things. Quite a bit is simple mechanics: more expensive lenses get better quality assurance, so you have a lot better assurance that the individual lens you get actually performs as well as the design was intended to. Second, is pretty ...


15

I believe this is for the simple reason that many people buying "pro" bodies will have been DSLR/SLR customers previously and will thus have an existing lens collection so are unlikely to need as many different options in terms of bundled lenses. The digital rebel end of the market is still capturing new DSLR customers who are upgrading from ...


13

When I first did it, I bought a body and a separate zoom lens. If I were to do it again, I think I would do the same thing, but get a 50m prime lens. Why? Every camera company offers a 50m prime lens that is inexpensive, so it's a great buy when you are first starting out. The other reason is overload of information. When you first start out, the ...


13

I gave pretty much the same answer before, but here it is again for completeness. To minimise DOF and get the blurred background effect you should: Use as long a focal length as possible. Use a wide aperture low f/ number (but don't zoom out increase the f/ number as the actual lens opening gets no bigger) Use as close a focussing distance as possible ...


13

It's pretty harsh to lump all kit lenses into that same bucket. There's no question that kit lenses sold with entry-level cameras tend to be entry-level lenses, but isn't that to be expected? If you take an entry-level Canon or Nikon kit, for instance, the kit lens is designed to get a relatively new photographer up and running quickly, and to do so at a ...


12

No, not all kit lenses are poor. For example, the DP Review review on the Pentax 18-55mm kit (version 1) is actually quite good. Another review on version 2 shows improvement on the first version as well. In any event, it's a pretty decent lens and at a knock-out price, but it's not a superstar lens either, you just get more than you paid for I think. :) ...


12

It would entirely depend on the level of the camera kit you are buying. In most cases, lower-end entry-level cameras, such as the Rebel series from Canon or the Nikon D3100, usually do have rather cheap 18-55mm lenses bundled with them. The optics are usually not top notch, build quality is usually lower, however you are getting such a lens for a real steal ...


12

Why are lenses included in kits so bad? Kit lenses aren't bad -- they're just optimized for different parameters. A kit lens is meant to be a decent general purpose lens that'll get you started with your camera and at the same time keep the price of the total package down to a point where you'll still buy it. If you compare the EF-S 18-135 IS to lenses ...


11

Think about it this way: would you buy the kit lens if it was standalone? For example, if you needed a lens near the 18-55mm range, would you buy the kit version (which is generally of a fairly low build quality, fairly slow with a variable aperture) or would you buy something a bit more professional? If you see no problems with the kit lens and would buy ...


11

I don't think it's 100% universally true that all kit lenses suck (5D Mark II kit came with a 24-105F4 IS which is a high-quality zoom lens). Much of it has to do with information, sales, and the psychology of money. Kits with 'low quality' lenses aren't targeted to semiprofessional/professional photographers. They are targeted to first time buyers who ...


11

Zoom in to 55mm Get close to your subject Ensure there nothing close behind your subject (e.g. the background is far away) According to this depth of field calculator, with your camera and that lens, at 55mm f/5.6, if you subject is 6ft away from you, your depth of field will be 0.76ft, and anything that is about half a foot behind or in front of your ...


11

Background blur, as an intrinsic element of a lens, is related to the physical diameter of the aperture as observed through the front of the lens. This is often called the "physical aperture", however it is more appropriately termed the entrance pupil. The size of the entrance pupil is really what determines how blurry OOF content will be, as it is the ...


11

For general purpose photography for a general purpose casual user there probably isn't much reason to upgrade your general purpose lens. For everyday photos you'll be printing out on your printer or at the local lab/supermarket to 6x4or A4 etc to show friends and family I doubt you'll notice much of the quality difference between this lens and the more ...


11

Generally speaking, one must consider the age of the technology when doing fair comparisons. The 18-55 IS is a fairly new lens (replaced the 18-55 non-IS only a couple of years ago), while the 17-40 is an older lens (by itself, though, it does not necessarily mean that a newer lens is better/sharper). Then, like any mechanical device, there are ...


11

DSLRs are designed to allow you to change the lens. They are offered as "body-only" for people that already have compatible lenses, or know exactly what they want. Most folks who are new to DSLR want to buy a complete camera, body and lens. So all the manufacturers offer a combination of the body with a cheap lens. This is the "kit lens" For entry level ...


11

No, the lens do not zoom automatically. Almost all SLR zoom lenses are zoomed using the zoom ring, very few have motorized zoom mechanism.


10

There's a difference between cameras with a kit lens, and camera kit accessory bundles. The former are from the manufacturer, and generally give you a good deal on a low-end wide-normal zoom. (Sometimes, it's even cheaper to buy a camera in this form than body only!) Camera accessory bundles are put together by camera stores, and include things like a ...


10

A lot of on-line commentators express disappointment with the 17-40's optics and consistency in particular. And it's smallest, lightest L lens available. It's among the cheapest as well. The L primes cost and weigh more. The reviews all seem to agree that the 18-55 IS has really good optics for the price. Some observers of photo tech trends argue that ...



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